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Timekeeping French style

Timekeeping French style

France is a historic cradle of watch-making in the world, even before Switzerland. During the 18th Century, craftsmen were practising their craft and their names have remained etched in history, the best examples being Berthoud, Breguet, Le Roy and Lépine. Today, the overwhelming majority of luxury watches come from the Swiss Confederation which has also maintained its very high quality watch-making tradition. And even as the giant Nippon Seiko has served as the exception with its « Grand Seiko » and « Credor » brands, only a handful of brands compare favourably. Following the watch-making crisis of the 70s and 80s and the arrival of the quartz, the French watch-making industry has witnessed an inexorable decline that has resulted in the disappearance of the last remaining manufacturers in France. Some dozen or so years later, a cautious inclination to revive French watch-making can be detected. A few adventurers have been encouraged by state bodies, and even more so by a customer base that has a nostalgia for goods manufactured in France. These adventurers have launched themselves into some brave watchmaking ventures. These are often dependent on Swiss suppliers, though they claim no less of a French identity being reawakened for this…a reawakening that will endure for some time!

Pequignet Royal Grand Sport

This brand found its path to Luxury Watch-making a few years ago through innovation with the well-known Calibre Royal. Today this movement is available in a range that blends technical achievement with elegance, bringing a classic look to the French brand.

MBenjamin Tourbillon

This Tourbillon watch was designed and patented by a young man hailing from the Franche-Comté region of France. The watch is manufactured by the Concepto Watch Factory specially for MBenjamin. Benjamin Muller, in his own name, released the one design element to make his dream come true of creating a whole line of watches that make up his brand. He has been very successful in Asia and the success does not end there!

Matwatches « Démineur »

This watch was developed by the young French Paris-based manufacturer in response to a specific request from emergency services bomb disposal personnel. The reversed crown gives optimal ergonomy when handling explosive items from two world wars. The glass, crown and rods on this automatic watch have been strengthened to ensure a robustness that can withstand any hardship. Matwatches has here gained its foothold in watch-making for security purposes.


The manufacturer hailing from the Vexin area of Normandy has beaten a record with this watch model – the record for the lightest automatic chronograph in the world. This watch uses highly developed technology with its alloy materials from the car-racing world in order to be able to boast a 48.80kg weight, including the bracelet and buckle. BRM is proud to assert its competitive edge in avant-garde watch-making.

The selection HM

J.B. Viot at Paris an-Baptiste Viot is a unique watchmaker His unique career trajectory in the restoration of collection pieces has meant that he has seen some real treasures in his hands, to which he has given new life in his Breguet workshops located in Paris’s rue de la paix. When the brand was bought by the SWATCH group and the workshops were to leave France for the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland, Jean-Baptiste Viot decided to stay and bring new life to French luxury watch-making in Paris. He has now set up a workshop in the garage of his house where he restores collection pieces and creates clocks and watches. His approach remains a scrupulously traditional watch-making one, right down to the manufacturing by hand of the watch’s hands. This means that the customer can enjoy a variety of personal touches, with the result that every piece is unique. Such an advantage means that there is a wait of almost two years for a subscribed watch, such is the price of exclusivity! « J.B. Viot à Paris » revives a Parisian tradition that has been lost since the end of the 19th Century.

Posted in ShowTime1 Comment

BRABUS PRIVATE AVIATION High-End Customization of Private Jets and Helicopters

BRABUS PRIVATE AVIATION High-End Customization of Private Jets and Helicopters

After launching BRABUS PRIVATE AVIATION at the last Ebace edition starting with Bombardier and Embraer’s aircraft, it sounded natural to expand the concept toward helicopters, as the missing link between exclusive car models and aviation. There are lots of similarities between both worlds. The unique touch of luxury and dedication found in the redesigned Brabus interiors and the powerful exterior designs are immediately applied to the helicopter spirit to infuse this unmatchable feeling of flying your own car. “The exclusive customization of aircraft is a logical evolution of our product portfolio,” explains Constantin Buschmann, General Manager of BRABUS Private Aviation GmbH “In the past we have been approached by a number of our customers asking us to design and customize their private jet or their helicopters because they wanted their exclusive cars and their aircraft to match in style and quality. That’s why we now officially address that subject in the BRABUS PRIVATE AVIATION GmbH, a completely new business division founded to take our signature style up in the air.” For the interior, the “ELEGANCE” design creates an exclusive, bright atmosphere with a combination of cream-colored BRABUS fine leather, Alcantara and high-end wood applications. As is the case for all BRABUS interiors, the BRABUS PRIVATE AVIATION designers and upholsterers pay particular attention to a perfect finish of the cabin-components down to the very last detail. This encompasses the precise color coordination of all interior components including the elaborately designed wood trim with high-gloss finish. The “SPORTIVE” design line sets an exciting contrast in the cabin. Its combination of black and gray leather, Alcantara and carbon fiber lends the cabin a fresh and progressive appearance. The perfectly finished carbon-fiber elements and the seat design with red contrasting seams are inspired by the design of exclusive sports cars. The BRABUS PRIVATE AVIATION high-tech in-flight entertainment system lets passengers communicate and enjoy all forms of modern digital media on high-end multimedia devices such as the Apple iPad or iPhone. Custom-tailored docking and charging stations ensure the perfect integration of Multimedia devices into the aircraft. After landing the same multimedia devices can then be taken along for a ride in the BRABUS 800 iBusiness sedan, offering the same level of comfort and integration as the airplane. On the outside, the fuselage is refined in detail and a carbon fiber design is applied onto the drift. Different versions of the BRABUS PRIVATE AVIATION exterior design are available in black, white or grey to suit different tastes. The black livery, shown here on a Eurocopter EC 145 lends a very modern appearance. Several paint features like the door handles and rotor tips colored in red, the honeycomb design structure on the side and specially painted, horizontally striped main rotor blades create an absolutely unique look that together with the black body of the aircraft represents the signature high-tech BRABUS style. The tail boom has a carbon fibre-look again pointing out the spirit of the brand. Furthermore the elegant lighting spots, illuminating the ground next to the landing skids are yet another feature transferred from BRABUS supercars to this EC 145 exterior design. First adapted to a Eurocopter EC145, completion on all helicopter models is a matter of time and certification, which will take place upon customer’s requests and slots availability as all designs are based on a limited edition concept. For the implementation of this concept BRABUS Group forged an alliance with three prominent partners from the aviation industry: PrivatAir, a leading aircraft operations and management company with a global network of aviation experts and facilities, RUAG Aviation, one of the most respected companies for maintenance and completion work for both private jets and helicopters located in Munich, Germany, and HAPPY DESIGN STUDIO with its many years of experience in the development and quality execution of extraordinary liveries. All BRABUS PRIVATE AVIATION services are certifiable in accordance with FAS and EASA regulations.

Sikorsky looking to sell Black Hawk helicopters to the Polish army

On September 4th, Sikorsky Aerospace Services (a division of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation that deals with after-sales) and the Polish company PZL Mielec signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ETC-PZL Aerospace Industries Ltd, the Polish subsidiary of the Environmental Tectonics Corporation. This agreement exists to explore the supply by ETC-PZL of training tools for crew and maintenance technicians with a view to the Polish Defence Ministry acquiring S-70 Black Hawk helicopters assembled in Poland. The order for these aircraft is expected at the end of this year and could lead to the signature of a contract at the end of 2013. ETC-PZL is a company that specialises in producing digital technology flight simulators and various training tools and simulators for ground-based vehicles

Posted in Breaking news, International5 Comments

15 Black Hawks for the Swedish armed forces

15 Black Hawks for the Swedish armed forces

In September the last two UH-60M Black Hawks from a series of 15 aircraft were delivered to the US Army prior to their transfer to the Swedish Defence Material Administration. The 15 helicopters were delivered in 16 months, a record for a fleet provided through the American Government’s Foreign Military Sales Programme. Three of the aircraft arrive at just the right time for a departure to Afghanistan in 2013 where they will join the Swedish division of the International Security Assistance Force. Once in place, the helicopters will be used for medical evacuation missions as well as for transport and for search and rescue.

Posted in Breaking news4 Comments

The Cyclone will not be late

The Cyclone will not be late

The Canadian government has published the state of progress on the CH-148 maritime helicopters project via its Defence Ministry spokesperson. This framework agreement posits the replacement of the nearly 50 year old Sea King helicopters that still have a worldwide presence on Canadian navy vessels with Sikorsky Cyclone helicopters. This major programme had experienced some delays both on the delivery of the final models and on the various versions of the interim aircraft to be used for training and validation by the Canadian armed forces. Sikorsky, subjected to $8M worth of compensation and claims for its failure to meet delivery deadlines, appears to nevertheless be in a position to meet its commitments. To date, four aircraft (the MH805 to the 808) have just completed their test phases, and their equipment has been installed since September 26th at the 12th Squadron Shearwater in order to serve as a base for initial training for airborne crew and technical staff.

Posted in Breaking news5 Comments

Kansas City police remain faithful to MD Helicopters

Kansas City police remain faithful to MD Helicopters

MD Helicopters is pleased about the choice made by the Kansas City police service, who have decided to renew their fleet with MD 500E helicopters. The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) has been using aircraft from the Hughes range since 1967, when it created its air patrol unit, acquiring three Hughes 300B aircraft. In 1995, the KCPD acquired three military-origin Hughes 500s (OH-6A) and in 2001 sold its Hughes 300s. In 2008, it acquired a fourth OH-6A and during the course of last summer, it then took delivery of three brand new MD 500Es. They have been introduced to supplement surveillance and law enforcement. The aircraft are equipped with infrared cameras, video downlink, night vision goggles (NVG) compatible cockpit instruments, a searchlight and an onboard mapping system.

Posted in Breaking news0 Comments

The pilot-less K-Max remains in Afghanistan

The pilot-less K-Max remains in Afghanistan

At the request of the US Marine Corps, and for the second time this year, the pilot-less K-Max Cargo helicopter was deployed for a further six months in the Afghan theatre of operations. The aircraft is used for transporting goods and supplying troops, meaning that loads can be moved around much more safely and quickly than by using ground transportation (or manned helicopters), all the more so given that these aircraft sometimes have to deal with attacks using home-made explosive systems. It is furthermore expected that this new six month period will be extended to September 2013. Since it began working with the forces in Afghanistan in November 2011, the unmanned K-Max Cargo has flown 525 hours on 485 trips, and has transported over 725,000 payload tons.

Posted in Breaking news6 Comments

Eurocopter delivers its first modified Puma Mk2 to the British MoD

On 12th September, the delivery of the first improved version of the Puma Mk2 to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) marked a watershed in the roll-out of a programme that is expected to eventually improve the potential and enhance the performance of 24 Royal Air Force Puma helicopters. The modifications relate to the engines (the Puma Mk2 has two Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turbines) and to digital on-board instruments, as well as flight management systems, the introduction of an automated digital flight control device, the fitting of a new communications suite as well as new defensive aids and better ballistic protection systems for the crew and passengers. The helicopters also feature upwardly revised fuel capacity which together with reduced engine consumption will result in a doubling of the payload and a tripling of the helicopter’s range compared to its earlier version.

Posted in Breaking news8 Comments

Canadian Helicopters becomes the NHZ Group

Following the purchase of the New Zealand company HNZ for $120M in spring 2011, Canadian Helicopters has put the seal on its consolidation strategy. Following the approval of its shareholders in May, the Canadian group has formally become the HNZ group as of 25th September 2012. In addition to the new name and the change of stock symbol, the group now comprises two distinct geographical entities with a view to establishing itself globally. So the airline company will have a presence in the Asia-Pacific sector and the Antarctic regions using the HNZ name, whilst Canadian Helicopters retains Canada and Afghanistan. Technical support and maintenance activities will be managed by subsidiaries Heli-Welders and Nampa Valley Helicopters.

Posted in Breaking news3 Comments

Turbomeca grows in Brazil

Turbomeca do Brasil (Safran group), established in Brazil since 1977, celebrated the extension of its site at Xerém (State of Rio de Janeiro) in early September. These facilities will accommodate the new assembly chain and trial space for the Makila 2 engine and the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) the Saphir 20. These items are being built both for civilian helicopters and the military helicopters the EC225/725 for the Brazilian market and on a wider global scale for Latin America. These investments in the Rio de Janeiro region are the result of commitments made by Turbomeca as part of a contract signed in 2009 by the Brazilian Ministry of Defence for the acquisition of 50 EC725 helicopters. In addition to this, Turbomeca do Brasil will deliver the Makila 2 engines and the Saphir 20 APUs to Helibras (the Eurocopter subsidiary). These will be equipping the new Brazilian armed forces EC725 helicopters produced in the Helibras plant at Itajuba. Turbomeca do Brasil will also supply the maintenance and servicing for all Makila 2 engines in service in the region for all military and oil platform missions.

Posted in Breaking news2 Comments



In Bergamo, capital of Lombardy, a medieval tower acts as a hotel and an art gallery: an impeccably managed meeting of styles!

Perched high up on the sloping hillsides with medieval outer walls enclosing elegant Renaissance palazzo buildings, marbleclad chapels and gold and stucco-laden baroque churches, Bergamo owes its vertiginous beauty to 400 years of a Venetian presence in the area. A good clutch of artists have fallen under the spell of the Alta Citta including Debussy, Le Corbusier and Fauré, and art that is both modern and venerated by tradition has also made its presence felt in a town that is crammed with museums, steep side streets and sleepy squares. The most contemporary aspect of the High City also accommodates the GombitHotel, which serves as both a hotel and an art gallery. The young Italian architect Gio Pozzi has worked with the historic setting of a 13th Century tower with the idea of creating a minimalist space: a veritable laboratory of the avant-garde and of the creative act.

This four star art venue – designated a Design Hotel of course – showcases a wealth of light-themed works by young international artists, and is pitched at the crossroads of an ancestral tradition and an almost radical modernity. The rooms feature pistachio green, vivid orange and crimson red colours that contrast strongly with the blonde stone that has acquired a centuries old patina. The linear simplicity of the furniture emphasises the complexity of the medieval architecture, whilst also being designed for total comfort. To stay at the GombitHotel is to enter into the delightful dream world of being shut into an art gallery overnight… the creations are unique, always a surprise, and are a feature of every nook and cranny including the library ceiling, from whence the pages of voluptuous books by Steven Cavagna seem to be coming. This is a place for dreamers, created by dreamers…

Posted in Destinations4 Comments